A periodontist is one of the least understood types of dentists. This professional deals in gum diseases, working to give patients healthier mouths. Whenever you feel like your gums are sensitive or you notice bleeding, you need a periodontist. Otherwise, you risk gum disease or the pain experienced with every bite, and other extreme mouth conditions. Here’s our guide on periodontists, what they do, and why patients sometimes need one.
The Basics of Periodontology
Periodontology isn’t a word that you hear very often. As such, you may not understand its meaning. In simplest terms, you want pink gums. They’re the sign of a healthy mouth. A periodontist is a person who helps you in situations when your gums aren’t in optimal condition.
Of course, gums aren’t the only focus for periodontists. These professionals also work on other parts of the mouth, ones you don’t think about often – but use regularly. For example, the part of the jawbone that supports your teeth is the alveolar process. Any issues with this part of the jaw could lead to tooth loss, especially in women. That’s because it’s the bone portion that hosts tooth sockets. When your alveolar process deteriorates or breaks, you need a periodontist to reset it and secure your teeth.
Similarly, the cementum is the tissue that connects your teeth and gums. It’s a calcified substance with a simple purpose. Cementum protects the roots of your teeth. To do this, it connects the alveolar bone with the teeth via the periodontal ligament. Commonly known as the PDL, this ligament is supportive in nature and 70 percent water in composition. The rest of it is cells and fibers. When your PDL is unhealthy, the attached tooth doesn’t erupt correctly, which means it doesn’t grow right.
All about Periodontists
A periodontist is a master of many trades. This type of dentist must anticipate future gum and tooth issues, treat current ones, and repair prior ones. The job of a periodontist is to protect all the support structures of your teeth. These professionals train to make sure that your gums, jawbone, and connective gum tissue are operating at optimal capacity. When a periodontist notices a problem with any of these elements, the need for action is immediate.
When left untreated, gum damage can cause you to lose a tooth or, in extreme situations, suffer a gum or jaw disease that could require the removal of a part of your jawline. That’s why periodontists have a reputation as the plastic surgeons of dentistry. These professionals often work to correct soft tissue issues in your mouth before they become a larger problem. Prevention is a key part of this job, but surgery is also needed in many instances.
The worst cases of periodontitis require this surgery. The advanced stages of gum disease are worrisome. They are sometimes early warning signs of cancer, especially in adult males. A periodontist protects a person’s well-being by diagnosing and treating these early issues. The dentist will also test for cancerous cells. Should the patient lose one or more teeth, the periodontist will also suggest a course of action to hide the situation. Replacement implants are usually the best option, and this process is generally quick and painless.
To become a periodontist, a person receives regular dental school training. After the person completes this process, they must receive three years of specialized training. The specialization focuses on gum and tooth health. During this time, the periodontist will learn how to add implants, perform jaw and gum surgery, and treat cancerous gums. So, a periodontist is a dentist who receives multiple years of additional training to do more specialized types of mouth healthcare.
How Does a Periodontist Appointment Work?
The start of your first periodontist appointment is just like any other dental visit. You’ll check in at the front desk and then wait for your turn. When you get called back to the exam room, the dentist will review your medical charts. You should alert your caregiver if you have any allergies to medicines. You should also inform the periodontist if you have heart problems, diabetes, or any other condition like pregnancy that could impact treatment options.
You may need to get x-rays during your appointment. The periodontist wants to have the most current medical information before making any decisions. The dentist will check the records and x-rays and then do a routine check of your mouth, jaw and gums. Afterward, you’ll receive an update the state of your mouth. The periodontist will tell you if you need any procedures done. If not, the professional will suggest some dental practices you should do daily to improve your situation.
A periodontist is one of the most important kinds of dentists. You may never need to visit one, but if you do, you’ll know that this person has the specialized training needed to treat your gums and mouth.